Whaling is a crime against humanity.
For decades I have been saying that we need the whales and the seals in order to save the fish of the sea. The more whales, the more seals, the more fish. The fishing industry and the government fishery "scientists" who I have always referred to as "biostitutes" have argued otherwise. It is in their selfish interest to do so. In fact, Japan's position is that fewer whales means more fish. If they did any scientific research at all, they would understand the ecological dynamics, but that kind of research does not profit the fishing industry in the short term, although it could save it in the long term.
The fishing industry today is all about short-term investment for short-term profit. Scarcity of fish translates into higher demand, which means higher prices. It is what I call the "politics of extinction."
Saving whales is not just about protecting these highly intelligent, self-aware, socially complex and wondrous sentient beings. It is also about saving the oceans, and in saving the oceans, it is about saving humanity.